During the month of May, I missed out on worship at Lakeshore three Sundays in a row. The first Sunday I was a guest preacher at Shell Ridge Community Church in Walnut Creek. The second Sunday I was in Tacoma celebrating Whitley Joachim’s graduation, and the third Sunday Roehl and I were on vacation. They were all valid reasons for not being with my Lakeshore community on a given Sunday, but it doesn’t feel quite right to be separated from my worshiping community so many weeks in row.
As summer approaches, vacations, celebrations, and family events will prevent many of us from worshiping together on any given Sunday. Every year, I hear apologies from many people who feel bad that their summer schedules take them away from Lakeshore. Let me begin by saying, “I understand. I know the feeling.” Let me also say, “It’s o.k. The good things in life sometimes take us away from the important things that keep us centered on a regular basis.”
There is no need to feel guilty or offer apologies. Let life take you where it takes you this summer. Every now and then, it’s good to miss your church family. It’s good to be reminded of the gift of having a worshiping community to call home, a place where you can regularly come and connect with others and with God. Missing church (rather than just skipping church) is a way of feeling deeply connected to Lakeshore, even if you can’t be around every Sunday. Don’t feel guilty for being away, but it’s o.k. to miss us – we miss you when you’re away, too.
Remember that God goes with you, wherever you are – and there are lots of ways of worshiping God. You can worship God with other congregations, in solitude, in nature or with your loved ones. And remember that rest is sometimes the most spiritual thing we can do for ourselves.
Lakeshore has many exciting activities over the summer. I do hope you’ll be able to come to many of them. But when you are away, we understand. We’ll miss you, but we understand. Hopefully you’ll miss us a little, too, and come back to tell us all about your adventures!